Every business needs a website. A business without a website is like a fruit stall without fruits. There are plenty of services that offer free website creation tools and webhosting, including wordpress, tumblr, blogger, and weebly, but with all of these services available for anyone to use, why should you bother with buying your own domain name? Can’t you just host your business website for free through one of these services?
If you’re serious about running a business, acquiring your own domain name is an absolute must.
Look More Professional
“Website.com” will always look more professional than “website.wordpress.com.” The former tells your visitors that you mean business, while the latter just doesn’t lend the same air of legitimacy. A business, no matter how small, deserves its own website. The free services that platforms like wordpress.com offer aren’t really websites, but are more like highly customizable webpages. If you want your audience to take you seriously, don’t attach your brand name to popular blogging platforms and free webhosting services. Make them stand on their own.
Get it First
If you don’t act fast enough, the address for your business might be taken by some one who gets it before you do. Buying your own domain means you’re essentially acquiring your own piece of the Internet. Unique domain names are getting harder to come by. Common words and generic-sounding website names are already long gone. Addresses that are easy to remember and easy to type tend to attract more traffic and interest. The last thing you want is someone making a website whose domain is the same as the name of your business. If you want to use that domain, you’ll have to negotiate with the owner of that website. If the domain name is common and attracts traffic on its own, acquiring it might cost you a lot of money.
If a domain is unclaimed, acquiring it is not that expensive. The same sites that offer free web hosting services also offer premium hosting plans which allow you to acquire a domain. These plans are typically monthly or yearly subscriptions. The cost of buying a domain and hosting your site also depends on what type of website you want to build. If you just want to make a simple weekly blog, then a one-year subscription should not cost you more than $100.
Owning your domain gives you a lot more control over your website. The free services that wordpress, blogger, and other platforms offer only give you limited control. They usually allow you to change a few things around, but free websites are typically built with pre-designed themes and widgets in mind. Adding fancy things like flash players or forms is usually harder to do. Most of the time, you can’t even do it. More thorough customization options are usually hidden behind a small fee.
You have the freedom to customize practically every aspect of your website the moment you buy your own domain. If you’re an experienced webmaster, or if you have a webmaster working for you, then this is practically a dream come true. You don’t want your website looking like a carbon copy of someone else’s website.
Ads are Easier to Place
If you’re planning to fund your site with ads, or if you just want ads for the sake of having them, then buying your own domain is necessary. Free web hosting services almost never allow ads. If they do, ad spaces are limited and the host may sometimes even take a cut out of the ad revenue. None of these issues arise if you own the domain, because you have full control over the website.
Helps with traffic
Finally, having your own domain helps a lot with SEO. People are more likely to find and visit your website if it doesn’t share the address bar with “wordpress,” “blogger,” or anything else. Having your own domain name makes it easier for people to mention your business in conversations, both online and offline. A strong domain name gives you brand a strong identity.